Would You Pay A Toll to Get To The Beach Quicker?

Starting this weekend, beachgoers can use the Gulf Freeway HOV lane on their trip to Galveston. The lane is also open to single drivers willing to pay a toll.

The Gulf Freeway HOV and HOT lane extends about 15 and a half miles, from the downtown area to Dixie Farm road

Metro Interim CEO Tom Lambert says a pilot program will now allow drivers to use the lane on weekends during the heavy summer travel period.  Lambert says the system is already operated remotely, and weekend use will allow drivers to get maximum benefit from an existing resource.

“This is the first time we’ve had a HOT lane where we’re now using the infrastruture in place to manage that corridor. We tested it many years ago, but that was a manual operation. It was much more labor intensive.”

Southbound drivers on the Gulf Freeway can now use the lane from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Saturdays and holidays.  It will be open to northbound traffic from 2:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

On Sunday, the lane is open northbound from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

“If you are an HOV you can use it for free. If you are a HOT vehicle with a single driver you pay a dollar to use it.”

And Lambert reminds solo drivers they need a toll tag to access the Gulf Freeway HOT lane. 


Gail Delaughter

Gail Delaughter

Transportation Reporter

From early-morning interviews with commuters to walks through muddy construction sites, Gail covers all aspects of getting around Houston. That includes walking, driving, cycling, taking the bus, and occasionally flying. Before she became transportation reporter in 2011, Gail hosted weekend programs for Houston Public Media. She's also covered courts in...

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